Friday, August 6, 2010

Who You Gonna Call?

Remember the old “Ghostbusters” ?

Doesn’t this look like it should be part of their equipment?


Our son uses this in his doctoral research to measure the amount of carbon coming out of soil. It fits snuggly on top of this 8-inch PVC collar that he cuts himself.


Each carbon measurement is timed and then recorded along with the  soil temperature and the soil moisture content. Then there is a slim interval of time before the Li-Cor must be over the next collar. There are nine collars in a plot and there are nine plots at this location. Other plots are in other forests in Florida. Plots within each location are in areas burned each year, every two years, and in areas that have never been burned---the control. Each must be done three times a day during the few days each month when the data is collected.

The idea is to try to determine if forest burning affects the amount of carbon released from the soil.

From the time our boys were in kindergarten, they participated in science fairs in school. Several years they advanced to the regional fair and once went to state competition.  Yessir, we are fluent in the scientific method in this house. I bet, if we looked, there is still an old foam board display still around somewhere.

To me, this is just a continuation of years of projects, taken to a much higher level of work.

Below: A man outstanding in his field!


Of course, there are critters to be dealt with in the process. D pulled this large American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis) off him while he was showing us around.


This research has been going on over a year, and we look forward to the results, if not its completion. The reason being, while it is going on, we are guaranteed to see our son (whose home is hours away) at least once a month. Oh, and, yeah, we like research!

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